Monday, September 28, 2015

The angles of time

Innsmouth, Massachusetts - 186X


Darien and I bolted down the cobblestone streets, dodging terrified townsfolk and maddened horses with empty carriages skittering behind them. That's when we saw it. Several not-eyes spun towards us as it ripped a rib from the carcass of a fallen horse it was crouching over. The bone snapped loudly between its horrendously large jaws.


"What the Hell kind of dog is that!?" I screamed.


"Tindalos!!! Shoot it! Shoot it!"


We unloaded both our pistols into it. To call it a dog doesn't come close to describing it, really. Maybe a malamute put through the meat grinder and squished back into shape with some insect parts thrown in and an extra helping of fangs.


It yiped and turned its long spiked eel of a tail to sprint down the streets of Arkham.


"Did the silver shot help?" I asked. Maybe he'd tell me it was best to let the thing crawl into a hole somewhere and finish bleeding out.


"Not particularly. That's a whole month's bar tab in his gut!"


I chased it for three blocks. I could hear the blood clicking in my ears. My heart was trying to break free from my chest. But the monster seemed to be slowing down in its obscene gait.


"Reload first you fool!"


"Details!"


I pulled my saber, hoping reach the silver first.


"What..?"


It dashed up a hill? No, the road goes downhill! Soon it was over the rooftops.


"It FLIES too?!?"


I traced that trail it left...a sickly color I can't describe because I can't find it in any rainbow on this Earth. I could only stare as it veered up to the top of the lighthouse and vanished with the glare of the spinning beams.


My sword clattered as I threw it to the pavement.


"It got away! Bloody hell it GOT AWAY!"


Darien laid a hand on my shoulder.


"It caught our scent. It's going to lick its wounds then come back for us."


He pulled off his rubber gloves and ripped off his mask.


"This is my fault," Darien said. "This is all my fault."


I looked up at him, fully expecting another rediculous plan.





We were back in the lighthouse where its lantern battery was also powering his so-called revolutionary invention. I was helping double check all the cables on his galvic something or other plugged into the spotlight


"Galvanic Tesseractor."


"Yes whatever you call it, Darien. How are we going to kill this thing?"


"We have to make sure it doesn't surprise us first."


As he pulled a lever I could feel the hairs on back of my head rise up.


"It's going to double back after it heals to this very spot, and from there hunt us down to the ends of the Earth. The only way to survive this is to split up."


"How far do we have to go?"


"Out of this timestream."


"You're joking."


"I wish I was."


He turned a dial and the stone around us began to vibrate.


"Massivitus levels balanced..."


"Darien. Where are we going?"


"If we go together it will still hunt us down anywhere, anywhen. Like I said we need to split up."


He pulled the lever up and down a few more times, measuring the pulses on a clipboard.


"Fine, where do I meet you and when?"


"Where is right here. I haven't figured out how to move through both time and space yet safely for humans."


He grabbed the beer bottle next to the voltaic pile and finished it, tossing it off the tower.


"Look, David...when you come out there will be a ripple effect. Time will readjust itself like a lady's ruffles after she..."


"We're not discussing Atlantic City again! Alright...I won't remember going through. We...won't be a team anymore."


Darien nodded hesitantly. "Well... Not like this."


"And why do I have to go? I mean if you built this damn thesis experiment in the first place then you should..."


"Exactly! If I go through then this thing was never built! Time can’t fix up a hole that..."


We both heard that sickening growl again.


"Hurry! Step into the Qlippothic Projector!"


"The what?"


"The LIGHT you idiot!"


"But I..."


I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and told him what I was afraid to tell him since we first met in freshman orientation. Then half a minute of being too close for words. That's all I had.


"I know, David. Me too. I'm so sorry."


The growl again, I swear I caught wind of its unearthly stench. He pushed me as hard as he could with both hands and I fell backwards into the blinding heat of the lighthouse lantern.


"GO!"



"Where am I? What the blazes are you?"

"I am Aeon. You're inside the Clock."

"What am I doing here?" 

"Didn't the Doctor send you? I have to readjust to put you back. Someplace wound a bit tighter, but not too tight. There will still be room for the little gears to spin their magic, when you find them..."

"I don't understand..."

"You haven't had your hour yet. Go back through the lantern. Things will be different when you get back. Forward a century. Gears rearranged, but still the same. With one replacement."

"I must be dreaming."

"Perhaps you are. But this isn't any less real than the lantern house, where you shall return in 3...2...1..."